Nashville Regional Conference
The Therapeutic Relationship is Your Most Powerful Tool (& Biggest Pitfall): Relational Strategies to Treat Challenging Trauma Clients
September 11-12, 2020 | 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Update June 2020
Due to the ongoing travel restrictions and safety concerns as a result of COVID-19, ISSTD has made the decision to convert this conference to a fully-virtual conference.
Join ISSTD for this two-day conference featuring presentations by Dr. Robert T Muller discussing how the therapeutic relationship is fundamental to trauma treatment and is intended to be highly practical.
All times listed below are in US Eastern Time.
Early Bird Registration ends August 13, 2020!
Student registrations are reviewed and accepted upon approval. Student registrants must provide proof of current status in a related field and must submit verification by email or fax. Discounts for Emerging Professionals (first three years after licensure or graduation) are available, please email a copy of your license or degree to ISSTD HQ for discount codes. All registration fees listed are in US Dollars (USD).
Group rates are available for groups of five or more from the same hospital, facility, or university. Please email the ISSTD HQ for assistance with group rates.
Cancellations must be received in writing via email or fax. A processing fee of $45 will be charged for cancellations received on or before September 1, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET. No refunds will be issued for no-shows. Refund requests will not be accepted after September 1, 2020. Not all requests will be granted. Substitutions for attendees are accepted at any time.
Registration Contact Information
Meet our Speaker!
Robert T. Muller, PhD trained at Harvard, was on faculty at the University of Massachusetts, and is currently at York University in Toronto. Dr. Muller is a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) for his work on trauma treatment. His recently-released “Trauma & the Struggle to Open Up” was awarded the 2019 ISSTD award for year’s best written work on trauma. And his award-winning bestseller, “Trauma & the Avoidant Client” has been translated widely. As lead investigator on several multi-site programs to treat interpersonal trauma, Dr. Muller has lectured internationally (Australia, UK, Europe, USA), and has been keynote speaker at mental health conferences in New Zealand and Canada. He founded an online magazine, “The Trauma & Mental Health Report,” that is now visited by over 100,000 readers a year. With over 25 years in the field, he practices in Toronto.
This practical two-day workshop, led by Dr. Robert T. Muller, a leading expert on trauma therapy and globally acclaimed author of the psychotherapy bestseller, Trauma & the Avoidant Client, is aimed at building our understanding of the psychotherapeutic relationship with challenging trauma clients.
As therapists, while we try to maintain a strong therapeutic relationship, in practice this is easier said than done. Trauma clients struggle to trust the therapist: Many minimize their own traumatic experiences or become help-rejecting. Others rush into the work, seeking a “quick fix“, despite a long history of interpersonal trauma.
Drawing upon attachment theory and research, and upon a wealth of clinical experience. Dr. Muller illustrates how to work with such hard-to-treat clients, how to find points of entry and ways to make contact. Using a relational, psychodynamic approach, we explore strategies for developing the therapeutic relationship, to help the client regain a sense of trust in others. We look at therapeutic techniques through which the client is encouraged to take interpersonal risks, to mourn losses, and to face vulnerabilities. Dr. Muller follows the ups and downs of the therapy relationship with trauma survivors and specifically looks at:
- How do we tell when we’ve unknowingly compromised safety in the relationship?
- What happens to the relationship when clients or therapists rush into the process, and how can this be addressed?
- And how can subtle conflicts in the relationship become useful in treatment?
We also explore different choices therapists make in navigating the relationship -choices that often have a strong impact on outcome. Recovery from trauma is a complicated process. When clients reveal too much, too soon, they may feel worse -making the pacing of therapy critical. Here too, the key is in the therapist-client relationship. Dr. Muller walks us through the relational approaches that help pace the process of opening up -so that clients find the experience helpful, not harmful.
Throughout the workshop, theory is complemented by case examples, practical exercises, and segments from Dr. Muller’s own treatment sessions. The workshop focuses on clinical skills that are directly applicable in our work as therapists.
The workshop helps practitioners using different therapeutic modalities to integrate attachment-based approaches with their existing skills, which they can then apply in their work.
At the conclusion of this training participant will be able to:
- Discuss how to help clients pace the process of opening up
- Implement safety in the therapeutic relationship early on
- Navigate and use conflicts in the relationship
- Recognize their own (therapist’s) feelings in the therapeutic process (e.g. the wish to rush into trauma work, or the wish to avoid it)
- Help clients mourn traumatic losses to bring post-traumatic growth
Potential to Stress
This workshop has a low potential to cause stress. No graphic trauma details will be described, however some case histories could be triggering to anyone with unresolved trauma.
Continuing Education Credits
This program is pending approval for twelve (12) continuing education credits.
Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB ACE)
The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2020 – 08/20/2021. Social workers completing this course receive 12 continuing education credits.
American Psychological Association (Pending approval)
CE Learning Systems, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.